Trusts used to be thought of as something for the rich, a way of passing assets through the generations and avoiding tax. This is no longer the case.
So, what is a trust?
A trust is a document which enables one person (known as the Settlor) to transfer assets to another person (known as the Trustee) to look after for the benefit of someone else (known as the Beneficiary).
An example of a simple trust would be where monies are left to a child in a Will but they cannot have the money until they reach the age of 18. During this time the trustees have an obligation to look after the money for the benefit of the child. The trustees would usually be allowed to pass money on to the child's guardian for the benefit of the child whilst at the same time retaining control of the asset.
The Trustees are the people who look after the assets in the Trust. When the trust is in your Will, then the Trustees are often also your Executors.
Trustees have various obligations which they must meet. Their role is a very important one, not only because you are placing reliance on them to carry out your wishes, but also because of the fiduciary duties which they have. A trustee is under an obligation to ensure that the trust's assets are safeguarded and must ensure that they act with reasonable care at all times. This role is a very important one and you should think carefully about who you entrust this role too.
Trusts are used for a number of reasons, including Asset Protection, Tax Planning, protection in second marriages, as well as providing for children or young beneficiaries. A Trust can be put in place during your lifetime to take effect straight away or can be incorporated into your Will, depending on what your wishes are.
Trusts can be very complex documents but can also be essential in order to ensure that the best possible solution is offered to all your concerns. Whether you need help establishing a new trust, or administering an existing trust our team are here to help.
It is essential to take professional advice before entering into a trust as there can be tax implications of placing assets within trusts.
For more information, why not click the links below or download one of our helpful guides.
Alternatively, give us a call on 01302 341414 (Doncaster) and 0114 272 1884 (Sheffield) and our friendly team will be happy to have a chat with you.
What type of trusts are available?
There are numerous types of trust available, the most common types are: